The assistant was arrested along with a French associate, with the duo suspected of soliciting bribes from luxury stone miner Gemfields.
The chief of staff of the Madagascan president was arrested in London after being suspected of soliciting bribes from precious stone miner Gemfields, Britain’s National Crime Agency (NCA) said on Monday.
Romy Andrianarisoa, who worked for Madagascar’s President Andry Rajoelina, was arrested with a French colleague at a meeting in London where the NCA said they were believed to have tried to solicit bribes to obtain licenses operate in the African island nation.
Neither Rajoelina’s office spokesmen nor representatives of the suspects have commented on the matter.
The NCA said the pair were seeking around 225,000 pounds ($285,000) in the first cases as well as a 5-percent equity stake.
“I am grateful to Gemfields for bringing this matter to our attention and for their continued cooperation in the investigation,” Andy Kelly, head of the international corruption unit of the NCA, said in a statement.
“Their quick reactions to the NCA’s involvement were critical to our ability to proceed with this case.”
The UK-based miner owns the Faberge jewelery brand, operates ruby and emerald mines in southern Africa and is exploring setting up operations in countries including Ethiopia and Madagascar.
Andrianarisoa, 46, and French national Philippe Tabuteau, 54, appeared in court on Saturday and were remanded in custody until their next trial in London on September 8.